If you’re a car guy who’s anywhere south of 100, or anywhere north of 30, chances are you know exactly where “east bound and down” came from. If you know where “east bound and down” came from, it’s a good possibility you’re very familiar with this 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition. And if you have fond memories of this Trans Am SE, I’m certain you know the meaning of both ‘numbers-matching’ and ‘investment grade’. What’s my point? If you’re one of the growing number of enthusiasts rediscovering just how cool F2 Trans Ams are, but aren’t quite sure you want to regress that far into youth, here’s your chance to throw a little sophistication into the mix. Fully restored and ready to roll, this brassy black and gold ‘bird isn’t just a bold throwback to simpler times and cooler cars, it’s a blue chip commentary on a smart investment for the future. So, if you’re into big block American muscle and giant Screamin’ Chicken decals, order up some flutes of Coors, throw on the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra’s Down on the Farm and toast your next classic!
Before we jump head-first into this tin indian’s detailed description, I’ll go ahead and break down both its VIN and cowl tag:
* 2: Pontiac Motor Division
* W: Trans Am
* 87: Sports coupe
* Z: 400 cubic inch V8
* 7: 1977 model year
* N: Assembled in Norwood, Ohio
* 208760: Production sequence number
* 77 - 1977 Model year
* 2FS87 - 2: Pontiac Motor Division, FS: Firebird, 87: coupe
* N – Assembled at GM’s Norwood, Ohio manufacturing facility
* 216410 – The car’s Fisher Body production number
* 19N – Deluxe Black vinyl interior
* A51 - Bucket seats
* 19L 19U - Starlight Black lower (L) and upper (U) exterior paint
* 05A – Assembled during the first week (A) of May (05), 1977
* WS4 - Trans Am
* BLK – Secondary interior color: Black
* 750293 – Fisher Body time and date code.
Assembled at GM’s famous Norwood manufacturing facility, this pristine Trans Am began a long, accident-free tour of America’s backroads in May of 1977. In December of 2013, the car, a solid, all-original survivor, was freshened to road-ready condition. And today, logging virtually no miles since that thorough dust off, it reflects fresh Starlight Black two-stage under Special Edition outlining stripes and an iconic Special Edition hood decal.
Despite their minimalist brightwork, second generation Trans Ams were highly decorated cars that brought new meaning to the word ‘details’. At the front of this ‘bird, straight and glossy urethane hangs Special Edition headlight buckets and a small “PONTIAC” script between a correct “TRANS AM” call-out and traditional red arrowhead. Behind that urethane, a great looking “T/A-6.6” branded hood anchors like-new glass beneath painted stainless trim and exclusive Hurst T-tops. At the sides of that hood, correct “TRANS AM” call-outs and Special Edition B-pillar birds complement traditional fender vents, black-accented door handles and correct wheel spoilers. And at the back of the car, a rounded D80 trunk wing aligns a correct “TRANS AM” call-out above factory-fresh tail lights, a small “PONTIAC” script and familiar side splitter exhaust tips.
Pop this Poncho’s dramatic hood and you’ll find a stout, 400 cubic inch Pontiac V8. Thanks to government-mandated emissions standards, performance had almost been legislated out of existence; and that left the Trans Am suffering a bit of an identity crisis. This ‘bird’s chrome-trimmed big block combined the largest muscle car engine you could buy with Pontiac’s proven “6X” head design to create one of the fastest pony cars on the market. At the top of the smooth mill, a big Rochester carburetor, a modern HEI distributor and thick Belden spark plug wires ride under a familiar Trans Am shaker. Below those components, warm GM Corporate Blue paint coats the entire block, while correct cast iron manifolds funnel spent gases into factory-fresh exhaust pipes. All the hard parts around the motor, from the fresh brake booster and rebuilt alternator to the big radiator and fender plenum air tube, appear to be functional and reliable. The car’s clean hood and engine bay are covered in a nice coat of GM Satin Black paint. And, as expected, there’s pliable belts, clean hoses and a strong battery.
At the bottom of this fully sorted F2, original, Red Oxide floorpans ride a garage-fresh, Satin Black chassis. In the middle of that chassis, a date-correct Borg Warner 4-speed sends power to a familiar GM 10-bolt and mild, highway-friendly gears. Below that stellar drivetrain, a rebuilt WS4 suspension, which includes power steering, thicker sway bars, better shocks and stiffer springs, combines with standard issue power front disc and rear drum brakes to provide quick stops and great handling. At the center of that suspension, a modern exhaust system barks a deep, vintage roar through an X-shaped crossover and a correct, transversely-mounted muffler. At the corners of that exhaust, striking snowflakes spin gold, Special Edition paint between ‘red bird’ center caps and modern 225/70 BF Goodrich Radial T/As. And all the car''s hardware and bushings, from its leak-free fuel tank to its correctly installed emergency brake cable, appear to be lucid and in good shape.
Open this Pontiac’s massive black doors and you’ll find a deluxe vinyl interior that wraps gold, Special Edition trim in a whole lot of old school style! The airy cockpit begins with thick seats that are plush, crisp and look every bit as nice as their rich theme implies. Below those seats, like-new carpet centers a molded console on a familiar Hurst shifter. At the sides of that carpet, hard to find door panels feature bright chrome hardware. Above those panels, a stain-free headliner stretches tightly around the aforementioned T-tops. In front of the driver, an optional tilt steering column spins a gold Formula steering wheel around a gold, engine-turned instrument panel. And behind the passengers, a Space Saver spare hides in a fully restored trunk.
Professionally freshened, from its factory Hurst T-tops all the way to its slick gold snowflakes, this fully sorted Trans Am is the perfect investment for any Bandit enthusiast! This is the kind of car you show at the nationals on Saturday, then drive to work on a sunny Monday morning. Are you in the market for a clean, late model F2? NOW is the time to buy a correct, low-mileage showpiece to enjoy for years to come!